Dauverne''s Variations, Op. 3 for Trumpet and Piano

François Georges August Dauverné. Variations, Op. 3 for Trumpet and Piano. Edited by Jean-Louis Couturier. Vienna: Doblinger, 2013. DM1455. For purchasing information see the Doblinger website.

This composition by Dauverné is a charming work comprised of an introduction, theme, and four variations. According to the editor, it was most likely composed in the 1830s. The extant source is in the Bibliothéque nationale in Paris and bears the call mark Vm91148. It was written some 20 years before the publication of Dauverné’s Méthode pour la trompette (1857) but contains similar lyrical and virtuosic lines that are contained in the celebrated method. The original edition includes in the title, “non-difficult variations.” As Courturier points out in his commentary, what is “difficult” is certainly a relative matter and that Dauverné viewed this work as not difficult, must speak to his very high level of technical mastery. There are quite a few obstacles that need to be overcome in this work. While the range is modest, an octave and a 4th (D to g’) there are many fast triple and double tonguing passages that don’t fit my view of “not difficult”. Jean-Louis Couturier regards this piece as one of the earliest trumpet and piano works in the French tradition. It is certainly an enjoyable and fun piece to perform and we own Jean-Louis Couturier a debt of thanks for his continued research on this brass repertoire and in particular, for bring out this composition.


-- Jeffrey Nussbaum


Editor's note: Dauverné's historical position and his method books have been addressed a number of times in the Historic Brass Society Journal, most recently in Bryan Proksch's "Buhl, Dauverné, Kresser, and the Trumpet in Paris, ca. 1800-1840" in volume 23 (2008), pgs. 69-93.